For seven months, the Rev. Buhle Mpofu has served as the HIV and AIDS Coordinator for the Uniting Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa (UPCSA). The church has identified addressing HIV and AIDS one of its three mission priorities. The HIV and AIDS Committee, with which Buhle works, further focused its ministry on working with orphans and widows. In doing so, they discovered that while much was being done for orphans, little, if anything was done with widows.
Buhle and the committee held a consultation with widows to identify their needs and assist them in the creation of support groups and initiate projects. Under the leadership of Buhle and the committee, the UPCSA engages in a variety of ministry: preaching on HIV and AIDS, with an emphasis on love and acceptance of those who are affected; provision of food, shelter, school fees and clothing to orphans and vulnerable children; Home Based Care support and support groups; training counselors and care givers; HIV and AIDS awareness and education campaigns; income generating projects; nutrition gardens; Voluntary Counseling and Testing;and promoting access to ARVs.
In consultation with presbytery youth leaders, the church has designed a program that will: promote dialog on the subject of sex among youths; encourage abstinence and foster value for sex within marriage; and encourage peer education and safer sex questions.
When asked how we might support him in prayer, Buhle said, "Pray for the entire mission of the UPCSA. Pray that we will implement our strategies. Pray that we will achieve our objectives." After a brief pause, he added. "Pray that I will be able to continue this work."
Photo of the Rev. Buhle Mpofu talking to Ryan Tally by Joy Gaska.